With old minor league friend Dean Kremer on the mound, the Dodgers clearly had the advantage between starting pitchers, as Julio Urias was coming off a pair of strong outings that made it seem like he might have regained his 2022 form.
And then the two combined for 66 pitches and six runs allowed in the 1st inning, with the Orioles getting the better of the exchange. Taking a 4-2 lead after the 1st, the Orioles never let go of the lead as Urias allowed the most runs of his career across his 5 innings of work in the 8-5 loss to close out the series.
Kremer’s first career game against the franchise that traded him to Baltimore in the deal for Manny Machado almost exactly five years ago did not start off well. Needing 37 pitches to get out of the 1st inning, the 27-year-old got ahead 0-2 to three consecutive batters and still managed to allow a pair of runs.
A quick pop out to second for Mookie Betts opened the 1st inning well, but a 10-pitch walk to Freddie Freeman after the 0-2 start began the trouble. Max Muncy grounded out to end his 10-pitch at-bat that also started 0-2, but moved Freeman into scoring position with two away. Still in the lineup at designated hitter, Will Smith saw five straight fastballs in his at-bat, again with an 0-2 start, before sending a cutter to center for a double. With Smith at second, David Peralta blooped in a single to left for a 2-0 lead. The Dodgers could have added more as Jason Heyward drew a four-pitch walk, but James Outman grounded out to end the inning.
As for Urias, his miserable 1st inning performances in 2023 continued after he appeared to turn a corner with just just 2 runs allowed across 12 innings against the Pirates and Mets in his past two starts.
Just to remind everyone, here’s what Urias has done by inning this season to enter the day:
The Orioles exploited this issue, with a walk, three singles and a double for a four-run 1st inning.
Similar to Kremer, Urias went ahead 0-2 on Ryan Mountcastle before he singled to right to put two runners on. An 0-1 fastball to Aaron Hicks landed in center for a single and a first-pitch slurve to Jordan Westburg landed in right for one as well. Now tied 2-2, Urias recorded an out as Gunnar Henderson rolled a ball into a fielder’s choice but then wasted an 0-2 start to Ramon Urias as a change landed in right for a two-run double.
Mercifully Urias got out of the inning with a fly out for James McCann, but not without putting the Dodgers back into a hole at 4-2.
Of course after all of that, the Dodgers offense went down in order for the 2nd and 3rd against Kremer.
Meanwhile, Urias also retired the Orioles in order in the 2nd, but that was just a brief respite. After recording two outs on four pitches in the 3rd, Urias allowed a double to Westburg and walked Henderson to put a pair of runners on base. Another double for Baltimore’s Urias brought the fifth run home for the Orioles and finally an 0-2 wild pitch with McCann at the plate made it 6-2.
With those two outs in the inning, Urias had a a full count against Henderson and a 1-2 count to the other Urias before failing to get either of them out. For those counting, that’s four of the six runs for Baltimore coming with two outs in an inning.
On the other side, Outman provided one of the few bright spots of the game for the Dodgers as he sent a 93.4 mph fastball 106.3 mph to the deepest part of Camden Yards (thanks to their bullshit realignment) for a 414-foot solo homer in the 4th to cut the deficit to 6-3.
James goes oppo! pic.twitter.com/S8BdeOuI0B— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 19, 2023
And as you can see by where that landed, that’s a first for any player in the league.
However, Urias absolutely refused to let the Dodgers gain any ground on the Orioles all afternoon.
Jorge Mateo opened the 4th with a double, stole third and came home on a sacrifice fly by Austin Hays. The seventh run of the game allowed by Urias, that set a new career-high of runs allowed in an appearance, surpassing the the six he allowed to the Pirates and Cardinals this season, as well as the six he allowed in four other outings during his career.
7-2 to the Orioles.
After poor Austin Barnes was robbed of a home run to left in the 5th by the Orioles ridiculous outfield (as his fly out would have been a home run in 29 of 30 parks), Betts drew a walk and Freeman beat out a double play brought Muncy to the plate. In the midst of a 1-for-20 stretch, with just a single and four walks since the All-Star break ended, Muncy battled back from an 0-2 count against Kremer to make it full before connecting on a change-up.
Hit 105.2 mph off the bat and 431 feet, Muncy cut the lead to 7-5 as the ball easily cleared the wall in center.
Putting the yard in Camden Yards. pic.twitter.com/CoZqOxHJG6— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 19, 2023
Urias managed to give up four runs after the Dodgers scored two in the 1st and then gave up one in the 4th after the Dodgers scored one in the top of the inning,
he finally recorded a shutdown inning and he recorded a pair of outs in the 5th before giving up yet another two-out run as Henderson launched a slurve 431 feet over the center field wall. While the left-handed Henderson only has 401 career at-bats, that was his first career homer off a lefty. 8-5 for the Orioles.
Finishing with a line of 5 IP, 8 hits, 8 runs, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts, Urias managed just 5 misses on 46 swings in what was easily one of the worst outings of his career.
From there, Phil Bickford and the recently recalled Justin Bruihl covered the 6th and 7th innings with no runs allowed. The latter returned for the 8th, working around a lead off walk to keep Baltimore off the board.
Ultimately it did not matter much what the bullpen did, as the Dodgers’ offense managed just a single across the 6th, 7th and 8th innings that was erased by a double play. With Felix Bautista on the mound in the 9th, Barnes singled to left but Betts grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
After an off day on Thursday, the Dodgers will get to visit old friend Corey Seager for the first time since he left the team. The Dodgers have won 8 of their last 10 against the Rangers dating back to 2018 and have managed to win six of the seven series since 2000 against Texas. In total, the Dodgers’ 20-13 record against the Rangers is their fourth-best against any opponent in history.
Of course, Texas is currently the highest scoring team in the league with 5.82 runs per game and sits 4.5 games up on the Astros for first place in the American League West and are two games back of the Rays for first in the American League.